Barely two months after Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman were let go, the final member of the trio, Bret Bearup, that once made the decisions for the Denver Nuggets was ousted from his duties.
Bearup was behind the current member of the Nuggets front office and a powerful one at that. Bearup was a big part of the Chauncey Billups-Allen Iverson trade, he also was apart of the trade that landed the Nuggets Arron Afflalo and also was involved in the signing of Al Harrington this summer.
However, as was stated by Marc Spears at Yahoosports it was a power struggle for the Nuggets Front Office. Masai Ujiri wanted complete control of the operation and was upset with stories coming out that he was just a puppet for Bearup and Josh Kroenke. Probably the main issue that came between Bearup and Ujiri was what to do with Carmelo Anthony. Bearup was pushing to move him sooner rather than later because Anthony’s value will decrease and the Nuggets could potential lose him for nothing at the end of the season. Bearup was a huge fan of New Jersey’s rookie Derrick Favors and Ujiri had a different observation. He didn’t want to jump the gun on trading his No. 1 player and have the perennial-playoff franchise he just took over turn into a lottery team.
Ujiri went through a similar situation in Toronto last season with Bosh and the Raptors ended up losing Bosh in the long run. However, the Nuggets are in a different situation than both Toronto and Cleveland both those teams financially weren’t ready to build and in Toronto’s case they struggled to make the playoffs. The Cavaliers are also stuck with paying a group of good, but not great players (see Varajeo, Anderson; Williams, Mo and Jamison, Antawin) instead of rebuilding from scratch. The Nuggets on the other hand have nearly $50 million in expiring contracts and are ready to rebuild if it comes down to it.
Now with Ujiri and Josh Kroenke as the only ones working with opposing teams the Nuggets may be easier to work with on the trading front – which is a good and bad thing.
An interesting observation that Spears stated at the end of the story was that the Nuggets remain interested in Philadelphia 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala. Iguodala has fallen out of favor in Philadelphia with the emergence of rookie Evan Turner and also because he is due to $46 million over the next three years.
Tags: Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andre Iguodala Arron Afflalo Bret Bearup Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Bosh Cleveland Cavaliers Denver Nuggets Derrick Favors Josh Kroenke Marc Spears Mark Warkentien Masai Ujiri New Jersey Nets Philadelphia 76ers Rex Chapman Toronto Raptors